Parity-violating electron scattering – an experimental overview
Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
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Revised: 21 July 2011
Published online: 23 September 2011
We discuss the current status and future plans of world-wide efforts of parity-violating asymmetry measurements in the scattering of longitudinally polarized electrons off unpolarized fixed targets. One thrust is the measurements of nucleon neutral weak form factors at intermediate four-momentum transfer (0.1 < Q2 < 1) (GeV/c)2 which provides information about the role of virtual strange quarks on the charge and current distributions inside nucleons. A new topic is the elastic neutral weak amplitude at very low Q2 from scattering off a heavy spinless nucleus, which is sensitive to the presence of a neutron skin. Finally, we discuss the neutral current elastic amplitude at very low Q2 off protons and electrons and in the DIS regime off deuterium, which allows precision measurements of the weak mixing angle at low energy and is thus sensitive to new physics at the TeV scale. The physics implications of recent results, potential measurements from experiments under construction as well as new ideas at future facilities are discussed.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2011